Solstice Greetings! I’ve been down to Dartmoor to spend Midsummer with beautiful friends and do a bit of work. I started at Dartington Hall in Totnes with Grace Gelder, hosting our Photography, Storytelling & Myth Workshop on the banks of the River Dart as part of the Liquidscapes Conference. We spent the night around the bonfire in circle with very special sisters, sharing poems and songs.
A short train ride along the coast to Plymouth, and I was reunited with my dear friends Lily & Tobias, & Marcy the dog, and treated to a utterly magical time at their new home in the middle of the moor, which is growing into both their family home and their creative vision; Ingra Tor Studios.
“Nestled in the glow of Ingra Tor, on the wind kissed west of Dartmoor, we are building an ARTIST RESIDENCE; a place to create, to walk beyond constraint, to breathe fresh life into your practice (whatever that may be).”
Ingra Tor Studios holds a beautiful space in the world, with panoramic 360 views across Dartmoor, with ancient Tors at each compass point, natural streams and pools, wild ponies, sheep, a hawk and a resident toad; it seems all of life is bubbling away in this Mythic landscape.
The 600 year old longhouse that Lily & Tobias call home is an off-grid treasure, with its own natural well, oak grove and fruit orchard. It is very much a place out of time, buzzing with the bees of creative inspiration, where a day feels like a week well spent in nature.
As an artistic recharge, it was more than I could have imagined, and as we walked the old quarry railway bed, I found myself in a space straight out of Tolkien, and inside Ingra Tor itself. Once quarried for its precious building stone, the Tor was mined to its very heart, where a single tree now grows. The circular machinery bases, (made from the same stone as a nearby ancient roundhouse-ruin) are covered in moss, foxgloves and grasses, reclaimed by the Tor in its healing, marking the passing of time in a way that acknowledges the human-hand in its timeline, and absorbing it back into itself with infinite patience. Bees buzz and echo in this poignant cathedral, making me wonder if there is wild honey nearby.
I look forward to many more Midsummer fires in this most special of places.
All images c. Imogen Di Sapia 2018